This line of outdoor furniture uses recycled rice hulls that outperform wood
Michigan-based furniture manufacturer Grand Rapids Chair Company has unveiled a durable addition to its repertoire of custom chairs and tables. The Bowen collection is a classic frame table with a twist – its top surface material is made from an ultra-sustainable blend of recycled rice hulls that would otherwise have gone to waste.
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This agricultural by-product of rice cultivation, called acre, actually holds up better than traditional wood, according to the company. Acre mimics the look of wood while providing improved weather, pest, water and UV resistance. It is also guaranteed not to rot, crack or break. Acre is extremely lightweight and free of phenol, formaldehyde and adhesives which could off-gas potentially harmful VOCs.
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The company’s veteran designers, Tim Stoepker and Sara Gesink, are responsible for the aesthetics of the collection. “We landed on the picnic-style slat design which we felt spoke really well to the community and the user-friendly look of a picnic table, but upscale,” Gesink said in describing the design process. “With the hoop leg, it could visually fit indoors in different environments compared to the picnic style with the leg,” Stoepker added. The tables are made locally at the Grand Rapids factory with rice hulls produced in Mississippi to minimize the company’s carbon footprint.
Shoppers can choose from three heights for the Bowen table, including dining, counter, and bar sizes, as well as pedestal and common designs that come in 11 different stain colors. Additionally, the steel base for the pedestal design is available in 150 different powder coats. For those who want to use their table in a very sunny area, there is an option to add an umbrella hole that will fit any standard size umbrella in the center. Prices start at $1,006 for the pedestal table and $2,507 for the common table.
Photography by Dean Van Dis